Hunger, Poverty Huge Worries For India: NITI Aayog

India performed dismally on UN's SDG with only seven Indian states successfully addressing "hunger and malnutrition", according to NITI Aayog report.

India   |   2 Feb 2020 6:43 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-02-02T12:14:05+05:30
Hunger, Poverty Huge Worries For India: NITI Aayog

Image credit: Financial Express

Poverty and hunger are the primary causes of worry for India, according to the National Institute of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog's report on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2019-20.

According to the report, most states failed to tackle poverty and hunger and performed badly compared to 2018.

The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly with 2030 as the target year. In India, the NITI Aayog had launched the SDG Index 2019-20 on December 30, 2019.

NITI Aayog is a government institution which devises policies, prepares vision documents, and implements pilot projects. The index aims to track the progress of all the States and Union Territories (UTs) on a set of 100 National Indicators which measures their progress based on the implementation of various central government schemes.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals which, if achieved, is expected to bring about a better and more sustainable future for all.

According to the report, India has improved its composite score from 57 in 2018 to 60 in the Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019-20. The performance of different states on the index ranged from 50 to 70, with Kerala ranking the best and Bihar ranking the worst. The latest report shows worrisome reversing trends in several states.


India's score on the goal of achieving 'no poverty' fell to 50 on a target of 100 in 2019, from 54 in 2018. When compared to the last report (December 2018), the latest report shows that poverty has increased in 22 of the 28 states in the past year. It has increased most in Bihar and Odisha, with Punjab and UP also catching up.

As per the Tendulkar Committee estimates in 2011-12, 21.92 per cent of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. Six states and six UTs have already achieved the national target of reducing the poverty rates to below 10.95 per cent by 2030.

28.7 per cent of households have at least one member covered under a health insurance or health care scheme. The national target is to cover all households in India by 2030.

36.4 per cent of the eligible beneficiaries receive social protection benefits under maternity benefits as per NFHS-4.

The national target is full coverage by 2030. No State or UT has achieved this target, yet.

4.2 per cent of the households live in kutcha houses. The target for 2030 is to have no household residing in a kutcha house. Among the States and UTs, the highest percentage of households living in kutcha houses is in Arunachal Pradesh (29 %) and Jammu & Kashmir (4.30 %), respectively.


Most of the states scored between 22 and 76 while the union territories between 12 and 73. While Goa and Chandigarh were top-performers among all states and union territories, 20 states and three union territories scored less than 50.

The report states that food wastage and loss are a major concern. Nearly 40 per cent of the fruits and vegetables and 30 per cent of cereals that are produced worldwide are lost due to inefficient supply chain management and do not reach the consumer market.

40.5 per cent children aged 6 – 59 months are anaemic (Hb<11.0 g/dl) in India. The aim is to reduce this to 14 per cent by 2030 which is the rate of prevalence of anaemia among children (percentage of children under 5) in high-income countries in 2016.

Three States: Nagaland, Manipur, and Kerala have already crossed the set target with children anaemic rates at 8, 10, and 12.5 % respectively.

33.4% children aged 0 to 4 years are underweight in India. The target is to reduce this to 0.9 per cent by 2030 which is the prevalence rate

of underweight among children (percentage of children under 5 years) in high-income countries in 2017.

Sikkim is the best-performing State, at 11 % followed by Mizoram at 11.30 %

India currently produces 2,516.67 kg of agricultural produce of rice, wheat, and coarse cereals from one Ha of land annually.

The target is to double this by 2030 to 5,033.34 kg/ Ha. While no State has achieved this target yet, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh are nearing the targeted productivity with current levels at 4,169.67 kg/Ha and 3,917.50 kg/Ha respectively.

Good Health and Well-being And Education

Most of the states and UT fared well in this category with 11 states and two UTs scoring 65 and above and 13 states and seven UTs scoring between 50-62. The worst performers were Assam, Bihar Uttar Pradesh, and Nagaland all scoring below 50. Kerala and Puducherry topped this category with scores of 82 and 71.

The indicators studied here included maternal mortality rate, the proportion of institutional deliveries, immunisation rate, HIV incidence, the prevalence of tuberculosis, use of modern family planning methods and availability of trained medical practitioners.

Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) stands at 122 per 1,00,000 live births. The UN target is to reduce it to 70 per 1,00,000 live births by 2030.

Three states- Kerala, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu have achieved this target with MMR of 42, 55, and 63, respectively. Assam has the highest MMR at 229.

HIV incidence per 1000 uninfected population is estimated to have declined from 0.64 in 1995 to 0.07 in 2017. The incidence in 2017 was highest in Mizoram (1.32) followed by Nagaland (0.59) and Manipur (0.58).

At 0.01, Himachal Pradesh is closest to achieving the UN target of zero HIV incidence. Jammu & Kashmir lead among the UTs with an incidence of 0.02.

In terms of education, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and Chandigarh were the top performers with scores above 70. Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam, Nagaland, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, were the worst performers all scoring below 50. Bihar came last with the least score of 19 in the education category. All UT's fared well except for Daman and Diu which scored 43.

The Adjusted Net Enrolment Ratio at Elementary (Class 1-8) and Secondary (Class 9-10) schools in India is 75.83. All States/ UTs are yet to achieve the target of 100 per cent enrolment. Among the States, Tripura has the highest enrolment ratio of 94.72, while Delhi leads the UTs with 92.95. Sikkim has the lowest ratio at 45.47 among the States, and Jammu & Kashmir have the lowest figure among the UTs at 57.22.

2.97 per cent of children in the age group 6-13 years are out of school. Goa is the best-performing state with no child in the age group 6-13years out of school.

Puducherry performs the best among UTs with an impressive figure of 0.18 per cent. About 6% of the students in the age group of 6-13 years in Odisha are out of school, the highest in the country.

Approximately 78.84% of teachers in elementary and secondary schools in India are trained. The 2030 national target is to have 100 % of trained teachers in schools. The percentage is highest for Karnataka among States and Chandigarh among UTs with more than 99 per cent trained teachers. Assam, Daman and Diu and Puducherry have less than 20 % trained teachers at the elementary and secondary levels.

Gender Equality

According to the report, Indian states' performance was particularly poor on gender equality. Except, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the rest of the states and union territories scored below 50. Having said that, the top performers only scored between 51-53.

Sex Ratio at Birth in India is 896 females per 1,000 males. The national target is to achieve the natural sex ratio at birth of 954 females for 1,000 males.

Chhattisgarh has surpassed this target with a sex ratio at birth of 961.

The average wage/salary earnings of females is 78 per cent of that of males among regular wage salaried employees in rural and urban India.

In Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the average wage/ salary earnings of females are higher than that of males- the corresponding ratios are 1.25 and 1.03, respectively.

For every one lakh female population, in India, about 58 women are victims of crime. The highest rate of crimes against women is witnessed in Assam at about 144 women, followed by the UT of Delhi at 133 women per one lakh female population. The lowest rate of crimes against women is in Nagaland at about 7, followed by the UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli at 10.

As per NFHS 2015-16, one in three ever-married women aged between 15 to 49 years experience a physical, sexual, or emotional form of spousal violence. The survey highlights that spousal violence reduces with a rise in education and wealth control amongst women.

While Sikkim and Lakshadweep have the lowest rates of spousal violence at 3.5 % and 8.9 %, respectively, Manipur has shown high rates of 54.7%.

The proportion of sexual crime against girl children to a total crime against children is about 59.97 %t as per the Crime in India Report, 2017. The UT of Jammu & Kashmir has the lowest rate of sexual crimes against girl child to the total crimes against children at 14.79 %, while Himachal Pradesh is at the bottom of the table with 35.84 %

Also read: India Slips To 102nd Spot On Global Hunger Index Of 117 Nations, Behind Pak, Nepal, Bangladesh

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The Logical Indian Crew

The Logical Indian Crew


Prateek Gautam

Prateek Gautam

Digital Editor

A free soul who believes that it is journalism apart from politics which should stand for the social cause and environment

The Logical Indian Crew

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